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A Mountain Top Experience

Our team was invited to see the ministry outreach of one congregation. We helped deliver physical and spiritual resources to a mountain village. We notice that as we work on stories for others, the Lord allows us to become part of the story.

Gayle Silkwood of GNPI-Chiang Mai, Thailand

Our production team traveled four hours to the western edge of Thailand to do a story about Tong-tip, the pastor of a congregation in the border town of Mae Sariang. He is small in stature but mighty in his passion to serve. He and the outreach team from his church make trips to remote villages in the area to share the Gospel. The finished video of this trip is Movement Everywhere episode #10.

Our team was allowed to go with them to Koon-Wong-Nua, a tribal village with no electricity. The trip included a one-hour drive up a rough, rutted mountain road.


Only one out of 80 families in the village is a Christian family. The husband previously lived in Mae Sariang and attended Pastor Tong-tip’s church.

Equipped with a generator and plenty of lights, the outreach team kept the curious group entertained with Christian songs and stories for three hours on a frigid evening. We were able to pass out coats, blankets, and candy to the grateful group. 

We also took two Solar Kits with us. Our son, Jeff Silkwood, designed a version of these kits using a small flat screen TV, solar panel, and battery pack that fits into a portable aluminum box. Thumb drives make it simple to show videos on the TV anywhere, even without electricity.

Pastor Tong-tip was happy to receive two of these kits. He will take one back to KoonWong-Nua and the other kit to another village that his outreach team will visit. We included The Global Gospel in Thai on the thumb drives along with Bible teachings by Thai pastors and testimonies.

It is incredible to see how Lord is working in the lives of people all around Thailand to proclaim His truth and love.

Vision Night 2017 Highlights

We are grateful to everyone who joined us for our Vision Night events in Joplin, Indianapolis, and Phoenix. In total, 351 people attended and generously gave $78,751 to further accelerate global evangelism through media and technology.

We are excited to see what breakthrough is coming next!

 

Coconut Communion

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

The young man was dressed in orange saffron. His flowing garb, long black hair, and cross-legged sitting posture made him look like a respected guru. I imagine Jesus looking and sitting like this teacher.

This former Hindu teacher is now a Christian in the amazing country of India where less than 10 percent of a billion people are followers of Christ!

He shared from his heart how it is up to the people from his upper caste to contextualize the teaching of Christ for Indians to understand. More importantly, this leader wants the people of India to accept the Message not as Western protocol, but as it truly is: global Good News.

One example of contextualization we experienced was the process of sharing communion with this teacher and new followers of Christ. This kind, soft-spoken, young man picked up a coconut, a very common food in India, just as bread and wine were common in Jesus’ day.

The guru shared how the coconut represents Christ’s transformed body. Then he tapped on the coconut harder and harder with a hammer, eventually splitting it open. Immediately some coconut water spilled out. The tapping represented the beating and piercing of the body of Jesus that released blood and water. As the coconut was split in half, the teacher explained the open space represented the empty grave. He said in order to reach the coconut meat, one has to go through suffering, brokenness, and emptiness to find sustenance and life. The coconut meat is white representing purity and hope.

I learned a lot that day from a coconut, just as the followers of Jesus did from the meal they shared with the Savior.

Prayers & Praises

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” — Mark 14:38 (NIV)

A Dynamic and Entertaining Program: Gustavo Velázquez of GNPI-Piedras Negras, Mexico, writes, “We are very excited about the new live radio show, Las 7 con Pepe (The Seven with Pepe). This program is broadcast every Friday at 7 p.m. for one hour. Pepe Corche is the main announcer, and he is a student from the local Bible college. The program each week revolves around the number seven and includes the comments of the audience during the week. Listeners wrote to us from several states in Mexico and from countries like Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Honduras. We are grateful to God because we have more contact with the audience. They share their spiritual needs, and we pray for those needs.”

New Disciples: Timothy P. of GNPI-SE Asia writes, “One of the evangelists who partners with us and uses our media sent me a report of several people who accepted Christ as the true and living God and their Savior and were baptized. We praise God.”

Woman of Worth: Nenette Pacoli of GNPI-Manila, Philippines, writes, “It’s women’s month! We are celebrating women with a new series of talks on Woman of Worth. Our speaker, Hazel Paras, writes for magazines and has her own blog. She also loves sports, dancing, acting, and has a collection of the best makeup and dresses that would make any lady’s heart go pitter-patter! Hazel lives a purposeful, meaningful life, and is equally happy and content in simple jeans and a t-shirt. She shares her journeys: the questions she had as a teen, the perks she enjoyed as a writer for a glossy magazine, and the lessons she learned from her own father. We proudly present, Hazel Paras, who is truly a Woman of Worth.”

From Seed to Fruit: Jacob Sanchez, a Christian worker in Nicaragua reports, “One year ago, GNPI planted a seed. We didn’t have any idea how to start, but we took those ideas from the gathering and used them in our churches. Now we have a special place in our church for an audio visual room. Thank you for the equipment you sent us. We have been using it. We plan to do more projects in Nicaragua and to train others. You encouraged us to start. You will see in the course of this year our productions of music, documentaries, and movies.”

A Great Opportunity: Sergei Golvin of GNPI-Eurasia writes, “Our visit at the Ukrainian Evangelical Seminary was a blessed period of teaching, preaching, and fellowship with students and faculty. The most exciting event was a round table discussion, where students were free to ask any questions about faith, personal experiences, or life issues. The time on campus was a great opportunity for mutual encouragement and growing in Jesus together! Please pray for these Christian workers from Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, and Belarus who are going to spread the Message in their regions through their ministries!”

A Proven Tool

Tom Nutt received this report from a pastor in Missouri who helps with outreach in Africa.

Greetings from Ntungamo, Uganda!

The Solar Kit has more than proven itself here. The way the productions are put together opens the floor quickly to questions that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is readily able to answer. This Solar Kit will be used mainly in rural Uganda as well as in Tanzania and Rwanda. Thank you for blessing this country with this amazing machine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The names of the two men in the picture are Ronald Ezra and Lauben Nydagamba.

“The Global Gospel” on Free Bible images

The Global Gospel (TGG) is available in 27 languages with another 11 to be completed this year. Recently, Free Bible images asked if they could use the TGG images on their website. They started with photos and stories about the Resurrection in the spring of 2016. Paul Thompson of Free Bible images writes,

“Thanks for allowing us to go ahead and publish the six sets of images from your videos on the Easter story. We managed to get these live just before Easter and in the first five days leading up to Good Friday we had 6,330 GNPI presentation files downloaded (an average of 1,266 a day). Those viewing the GNPI sets in StoryView to tell the story on a mobile device were 6,819 (1,363 a day).

Our users were delighted with the quality of the artwork and as the videos follow the Bible narration, they found them to be excellent visuals for explaining the events of Easter. Each story on our web pages has a Video link to the GNPI Vimeo channel showing all 20 translations of that Bible video. Your contributor’s section can be viewed by clicking the icon below:

We have kept the branding of the files the same as on the GNPI site and have used the same file names, story tags and numbering as per your videos. This is to make the correlation between our files and your videos easy for people. We hope there were many who visited your Vimeo channel via the link on our site.

Our joy is in freely resourcing those teaching the Bible.”

Free Bible images then expanded to the rest of the the photos and videos about TGG. Their end of the year report stated:

“In 2016 we had 48,674 sets of GNPI images downloaded in Powerpoint, PDF, or Keynote formats for teaching. On the conservative estimate that each set was used to teach between 5 and 10 people we estimate that between a quarter of a million to half a million people were taught Bible passages using the GNPI images around the world.

Users on our site can also view any set of GNPI stories in our StoryView that runs a slideshow of the images with the Bible text from the Net Bible. We had 214,987 GNPI stories read online in StoryView in 2016, and we expect this figure to keep rising. These views and downloads took place in 160 different countries.”

TGG is useful globally, but could just as easily be used here to help the construction foreman, the IT specialist, the restaurant owner, or the refugee here in the U.S. Your gifts and prayers put these resources just clicks away from online seekers.

 

The Global Gospel Surprise

Manee Massey, Regional Director of GNPI-Damoh, India

A pastor from the Gujarat region visited our office to conduct a survey for a future video production in the Bundelkhandi dialect to reach out to the villagers of the region. We gave him a tour of our office. When he saw The Global Gospel (TGG) in Gujarati, he was surprised to know that we produced it. Someone had given him a copy of the Hindi version, and he told us what a benefit it has been to use the videos to teach the 1,100 members of his congregation. He also told us he showed one of the video clips at a big event last Christmas.

He was happy to get the Gujarati version, and he plans to distribute 400 copies to various evangelists he knows in Gujarat.

“What surprises have come into your life that show you God is working behind the scenes?”

GNPI Breakthroughs

Mike Schrage, Executive Director

Our ministry partners have built a network of production partners armed with a passion to accelerate global evangelism through media and technology.

Four years ago, key GNPI leaders met in Manila and asked God to open doors for GNPI into Central and South America and China. We asked God for breakthroughs into the religions of Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. We also wanted to explore the world of smartphone apps.

Last month, we gathered again, this time in Damoh, India. There were 25 of us, which included our regional directors and their next generation of leaders as well as several of us from Joplin along with Barb Sachtleben and Chris DeWelt from the GNPI board of directors. We met for a time of reporting, prayer, fellowship, and to measure how successful we had been since our last meeting in Manila. It was really exciting!

The regional directors shared numerous and specific stories of influence, impact, and fruitfulness. Breakthroughs in disciples being made, churches started, and seeds sown became apparent. I wish you could have been there to have some curry and chai and hear the news first hand!

More than one hundred new Nomad candidates were screened last year alone! Key media training events were held in Indonesia (the country with the largest population of Muslims in the world), as well as China (the most populous country in the world), Ghana, Togo, and a few other places.

Plans are underway for more Nomad teams in Mexico and Central America. At last year’s Nicaragua gathering that Tom Nutt and Bob Gurwell organized, crucial groundwork was laid for outreach into four Central American countries, Chile, and Mexico. Last month on February 17 we held a one year anniversary video conference call.

It was thrilling to hear how the seeds of media ministry planted the previous year have exploded! They are addressing social issues like anorexia and human trafficking, as well as church planting needs and making the Scriptures available to the deaf. These were just some of the projects mentioned, and they are only a few of the breakthroughs we had prayed for in that area of the world!

A few short years ago, The Global Gospel (TGG) was a dream. Today, it’s in a newly improved version with 27 languages and another 11 to be completed this year. Recently, Free Bible Images, one of the top websites in the world, asked if they could use the TGG images on their web site. Their end of the year report stated:


“In 2016 we had 48,674 sets of GNPI images downloaded in Powerpoint, PDF, or Keynote formats for teaching. On the conservative estimate that each set was used to teach between 5 and 10 people we estimate that between a quarter of a million to half a million people were taught Bible passages using the GNPI images around the world.

Users on our site can also view any set of GNPI stories in our StoryView that runs a slideshow of the images with the Bible text from the Net Bible. We had 214,987 GNPI stories read online in StoryView in 2016 and we expect this figure to keep rising. These views and downloads took place in 160 different countries.”

TGG is useful globally, but could just as easily be used here to help the construction foreman, the IT specialist, the restaurant owner, or the refugee here in the U.S. Your gifts and prayers put these resources just clicks away from online seekers.

In January we had the opportunity to personally deliver, through a friend of GNPI, 500 thumbdrives with all kinds of GNPI materials to 500 Chinese house church pastors including The Global Gospel. They were distributed secretly as they strategically met in a neighboring country. Thousands will see and hundreds will copy and share with thousands more, and so goes the media – missionary cycle!

In the specific case of The Global Gospel, a GNPI sponsor paid for the original TGG template, another GNPI sponsor paid for the language recording, and yet another GNPI sponsor paid for the duplication and delivery. It required true teamwork to achieve such a breakthrough, and it happened!

Speaking of all things digital, you can download our new tool, The GNPI App, right now to learn more. With the app you have in your hand, free of charge, tools like The Global Gospel which are readily accessible for your next visit with an international student, refugee, or mission trip. The app is also a great tool to use as you are sharing with others what GNPI is all about.

What breakthroughs are we anticipating?

A serialization of The Global Gospel in Arabic, Farsi, and Urdu for television and social media use is being produced in Cypress by one of our new partners for Muslim and Hindu children.

The development of regional Nomad trainers like our first one, Timothy Jai Kumar, in South India, is the wave of the future for our ever-expanding Project Nomad. Nomad teams are growing the footprint of GNPI with next-generation media disciples. This underscores our core belief that nationals know best and are the most suitable to train and mentor others in their cultures to produce relevant media.


We have a growing relationship with YouVersion, the number one Bible app in the world, as a content provider. In just 18 months, we have submitted Bible study plans in several languages with 21,000 plan completions. YouVersion is so impressed with the quality of GNPI material and audience connections that they are exploring new content options with GNPI in addition to the plans we currently have that feature The Global Gospel.

Let’s listen now to Jessica Pennick, YouVersion Content Partnership Manager, as she shares her perspective on our collaboration.

Meanwhile, new countries like Indonesia, China, Ghana, Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, and Tanzania all had citizens receive Level 1 Nomad video production training last year. Now, not only will we shepherd and coach these new partners with additional training, we plan to train new media disciples in Egypt and Outer Mongolia in 2017. This is our flock, our church if you will, of media disciples spread out globally and trained strategically.

We will intentionally partner with church planting networks in Indonesia, the Philippines, Kenya, Mexico, and SE Asia to help their workers know how to use media to help seekers to become followers as they increase their fruitfulness in disciple making.

Our regional director in SE Asia is a recognized leader in understanding the Buddhist worldview and contextually leading them to Christ, the one true Buddha! This brother has been effective in leading monks to Christ and has a national vision for culturally specific training to equip 14 key leaders in each of the 14 states in his country as evangelists. We call it “The Timothy Project.” Each leader will eventually have his own Nomad team for outreach – talk about a potential breakthrough for an entire country where the major religion is Buddhism!

Finally, one of the most highly researched and complex projects ever undertaken by GNPI is beginning to develop in Indonesia. Remember, I started the evening stating that we asked the Lord for breakthroughs in the Islamic world? Well, they are happening!

Last year I mentioned a former missionary, friend, and colleague, Shawn Tyler, had written 10 stories for children. Well, due to additional research that number has been increased to 20. The twist in the storytelling is that they are told from a first-person perspective of someone who actually encountered God or Jesus and their mighty acts as described in the Bible. Then decades later they are telling their children and grandchildren about these events as bedtime stories!

This is a “new angle” on an old story, and therefore, the name New Angle Media Project.
The New Angle Media Project implements the most comprehensive media strategy using research, social media, video production, and personal follow-up ever. The goal is to identify Muslim parents who are seekers and lead them to become disciples along with their children. This is being developed, tested, and launched in the most populous Muslim country in the world!

We believe if we can get our strategy to work in that difficult country, it can be replicated to work anywhere in the world for GNPI. It is a “template strategy” similar to our development of The Global Gospel. Several groups and several of our teams are anxiously awaiting the results! This vision will continue to grow and change, but the impact could affect millions in a country where missionaries, especially American missionaries, are not welcome!

I’d like to close with this two-part story. Manee (who spoke at our very first Vision Night events three years ago) caught the vision of making media disciples through Nomad training, so he and his team traveled 50 hours by train to the very northern tip of India to train two groups on how to produce relevant media for their church’s needs.

They went during their holiday break and used some of their own money for the trip. They birthed not one, but two emerging Nomad teams in an area few Americans will ever reach. Productions have been made and lives have been changed.

Isaac shared how their team, along with their full production responsibilities during the week, volunteered to reach out to a marginalized, forgotten people group known as the Endorois. The Endorois people are only 300,000 in number and forgotten by many, but not by GNPI.

That’s the sacrifice exemplified by our teams; the determination they have for breakthroughs that will take the Good News to places we will never go.

Prayers & Praises

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” — Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

Answered Prayer in Progress: Twenty people representing seven countries (Mexico, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Chile) joined an online reunion led by International Consultant Bob Gurwell and DIrector of Operations Tom Nutt. It was a follow-up to last year’s meeting in Nicaragua. Tom thanked the group for what they are doing to serve the Lord. Executive Director Mike Schrage said, “We’ve prayed for open doors in Central and South America, and God is answering that prayer.”

I Am Samuel: Praise the Lord! This project is about the identity struggle of a young Indian Christian and has reached 500 views in the first week. The team recently received some advanced training from Project Nomad Coordinator Mark Allen and is also learning how to reach their target audience more effectively.

Challenging and Equipping: Sergei Golovin of GNPI-Eurasia writes, “We are resuming the online Reliable Foundations Apologetics Club after a two month break. It is amazing to see how some projects lead to unexpected outcomes. For instance, the online club is impacting our publishing work. Once a book print run is published no changes or revisions can be made until a new edition is released. However, all the books we wrote and published following our recent Reliable Foundations club seasons included the questions and clarifications discussed during the season, so we consider any new book as a somewhat “revised edition” already. Please pray with us for the effective use of these books to challenge skeptics and to equip God’s people to proclaim His Truth effectively!”

Expanding Outreach: Nenette Pacoli of GNPI-Manila, Philippines, writes, “Praise the Lord! We counted all the episodes for Say It Forward; there are 68 episodes from 10 speakers. The highest number of shares is 95, and we think this could be due to the topic of the day. The earlier episodes are on YouTube. We have not finished uploading them on Facebook where we get a bigger number of views. We had over 700 views from Saudi Arabia for our episode on Dealing with Stress. This episode also had a very high viewership from males, 18-24 years old, which is different from our audience thus far of men and women over 45.”

Resurrection Project: Timothy P. of GNPI-SE Asia writes, “Our team is finalizing our resurrection project this month. We are also working to equip evangelists with our media resources about the true Buddha. Please pray the Lord will use it to multiply His disciples in our region.”

Vision Night 2017 Joplin Recap

Our special guest for Vision Night 2017, Isaac Masiga of GNPI-Nairobi, Kenya, shares a few highlights about what the Lord has done in his life and ministry.

I would like to share a little about our vision and approach for reaching the people of Africa with the Good News of Christ.

GNPI-Nairobi, Kenya, strives to contribute to the building of communities whose individuals have access to and are touched by God’s Word daily. The transforming and saving power of God’s Word will result in societies with high moral values, integrity, hope, and prosperity.

We have a team of 17 people in Nairobi.

Some of our breakthroughs are:

After 22 years as a regional center, God continues to give us new ideas and opportunities to serve Him and the people of Africa by using media to share His Word.

Our next Vision Night events are on March 14 in Indianapolis, IN and March 17 in Phoenix, AZ. Register at www.gnpi.org/visionnight.

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